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  • Amber Rose Ostaszewski

Color for 2023

We're on the precipice of the new year, and with all the 2022 wrap-ups and lists that are being created and showing up in my inbox alongside the million of last minute holiday deals and other messages, was this non-standout message from no-other than the Martha Stewart company sharing the 2023 Pantone Color of the Year: Viva Magenta. Now, this normally would get sent to the trash as I weed through my emails, but the subtitle read "The daring crimson red color is inspired by the red of cochineal, one of the most precious and brightest dyes in the world." INTERESTING.



Now I've written about cochineal before, it's a favorite dye of mine, given the range of beautiful colors it produces and the connections it has to my heritage. As noted in that piece, most of the cochineal on the market today comes from Latin and South American countries, which is where I infer the "viva" in Viva Magenta, comes from, meaning "life" in Spanish. As I read into the article, it quotes executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman saying "As virtual worlds become a more prominent part of our daily lives, we look to draw inspiration from nature and what is real." INTERESTING.




I look back to the Pantone Color of the year in 2022, Very Peri, a periwinkle purple that is accredited to digital gaming culture, or 2021, which revealed not one but two colors of the year Ultimate Gray (it looks just like it sounds) and Illuminating (a sort of sunny yellow color). Many remarked how after 2020, it put out the two as if "hedging bets" between what the year would actually be like. So it feels as if Viva Magenta signals a shift, especially when one thinks about what the color red has signified throughout human history and across cultures. It's very exciting to see and gives me hope for the future, and yet, as I scroll to the bottom of the marthastewart.com article, I am faced with pictures of "popular interior paint colors and palettes" which feature nothing but white-to-neutral walls, furniture and decor, and am reminded that color is disappearing from the world. So putting faith in Viva Magenta, let's look to bring more color, whatever the hue or shade, in 2023 and onward!






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